Couple doing walking lunges

Exercises That Help Shape Your Body

Some people look great exercising. Their limbs seem to relax into certain positions, their faces full of fierce determination, their bodies long and lithe. For others, however, the struggle is a little more evident. Graceful angles seem unattainable, body parts jiggle, eyes cross, mouths gasp, hip width and sweat drips. If you find yourself in the latter category, exercising publicly may not be on the agenda. However, if you are one of the blessed, for whom physical exercise comes effortlessly, you can exercise just about anywhere. Here are some exercises for those without issues.

Walking Lunges
If you don’t mind people wondering why you’re taking such emphasized steps, walking lunges are a great way to get some outside exercise in. Start off standing with you hip-width apart. Take a giant step forward and bend your knees until your rear knee almost reaches the ground. You will know if you are doing them correctly if your shoulder, hip, and knee form a straight line. Be sure to keep your shoulders back and continue, alternating legs.

Body Weight of Air Squats
The squat is another great way of toning the legs and butt. Begin with the feet about a shoulder width apart, turning toes out slightly. Hold your chest up and shoulders back as you bend your knees and begin to sit back onto your heels. Lower yourself to an angle of approximately 90 degrees, or a little less, and then use your muscles to power your body back up with a little more speed, without overextending your knee. Do three to five sets of 20-30 repetitions.

woman doing mountain climbers

Mountain Climber
This is a great exercise which targets the whole body and is great for alternating between lunges and air squats. Start in a plank position with lips lined up directly under your shoulder with your stomach muscles tight. Alternate lifting feet up toward your hands in a running motion. Do three to five sets of 30- 40 reps of this, making sure to keep your tummy tight while trying to keep hips from sagging.

Push Ups
Because women often lack the upper body strength for pushups, stabilizing the upper body may be a helpful strategy in execution. Begin with hands just beyond your shoulders and stomach, keeping your glutes tight. Lower yourself, leading with the chest and then push yourself away whatever you are leaning on. Allow your chest to stretch and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lower yourself. Use your legs, abs, and chest to pull yourself back up. Try to get in three to five sets of 10 to 15 pushup repetitions.

woman doing step-ups outdoors

Step Ups
Another great booty shaper, step ups are done by first finding something stable to step your foot on. Keep all your weight on the heel of the raised foot, and step up. Try to prevent going forward as you go up, keeping your upper body in a straight line. Use your butt, keeping your weight centered on your heel. You can add a little more core resistance by starting with the foot on the ground slightly bent. Aim for three to five sets of 15 to 20 repetitions, alternating legs.

If you give any of these a try, let us know how they go. And let us know what other exercises we can do without a gym membership.

Chicken with parma ham and risotto.

Resveralife Eat Well: Get Healthy With These Food Pairings

Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, wine and food – there are some foods that just seem to taste better when paired together. Of course, you have foods that you love to put together, but the food pairings can go far beyond providing a complimentary taste or texture. In fact, there are some food pairings that can actually significantly increase the nutritional value of your meal. Says Elaine Magee, D.R., “[f]ood synergy is when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits…by eating foods that have a synergistic effect you can absorb more nutrients, gain control of your appetite and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.” We did a little bit of digging to figure out what food pairings not only provide the largest amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but also what food pairings genuinely taste great together. After all, you don’t get the nutritional benefits if you don’t actually eat the food. Resveralife’s favorite healthy food pairings are below.

Onions and grapes.

Onions and Grapes
We admit it, this healthy food pairing sounds pretty disgusting, but stay with us. Onions contain a particularly significant amount of quercetin, a plant-derived antioxidant. Quercetin provides cardiovascular protection by improving circulation. It has also been shown to help relieve or reduce symptoms of allergies. Grapes, a wealth of antioxidants, contain a polyphenol antioxidant called catechin. Catechin is a powerful antioxidant: it helps prevent against cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. An added bonus is that catechin may also help you lose weight. So, on their own these foods offer pretty impressive benefits. When combined they do all of the above in addition to preventing blood clots and providing a boost to your overall health. One of the tastiest ways to combine these two seemingly incompatible ingredients is to make a fresh chicken salad with sliced grapes and diced onions.

Blueberries and oatmeal.

Blueberries and Oatmeal
Grab a spoon and whip up this easy, and incredibly healthful, breakfast. For such a tiny fruit, blueberries pack a serious nutritional punch. Blueberries have a high concentration of ellagic acid, which is thought to fight certain cancers, and include vitamins C and K. Additionally, blueberries are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K. Oatmeal is a whole grain and has high levels of avenanthramides – compounds that fight free radicals from damaging your LDL (good cholesterol) through oxidation. As whole grains they also help fight disease and inflammation in your body. When you combine blueberries and oatmeal, the vitamin C in blueberries significantly enhances the prevention of LDL oxidation.

Red beans and brown rice.

Red Kidney Beans and Brown Rice
A more appetizing sounding combination, red beans and rice are a great way to give your dinner more nutritional value. Brown rice is a whole grain that is naturally high fiber and magnesium. Red kidney beans have a ton of great nutrients: they contain protein, magnesium, potassium, fiber and vitamin B12. Eating red kidney beans helps to prevent heart disease, reduces blood pressure and stabilizes glucose levels.The reason these two ingredients form a great healthy food pairing is that when combined, red beans and brown rice form a complete protein. A protein is considered a complete protein when it contains certain levels of all nine amino acids. Red kidney beans and brown rice provide you with everything your body needs to function healthily.

Food pairings are nothing new, you’ve been making these decisions for years. However, being a bit more strategic about what foods are served together can not only create new flavors, but also increase your health. Spend some time figuring out the best way to combine healthy foods that you love. For instance, you don’t have to simply top your oatmeal with blueberries, consider making healthy oatmeal bars with fresh blueberries for an on-the-go breakfast. A healthier diet is definitely within your reach as you start creating healthy food pairings.